At one point, Pádraic exclaims, “I’m a happy lad!” With that wardrobe? Of course he is. These are easily some of the best sweaters to ever grace the silver screen. (And this isn’t even the first time a film about two men arguing on an isolated island has yielded incredible sweater porn.) These are sweaters that’ll make you say, “Now that it’s spring 1923, I can really start dressin.” After years of playing Hollywood’s leather-clad bad boy both on and offscreen, they’re an especially good change of pace for Farrell. Plus, they fit the general snuggliness of his character. Pádraic is a soft guy. He deserves a soft knit.
The Banshees of Inisherin designer Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh told me in an email that all of Pádraic’s sweaters were handknit for the film. I was particularly interested in how the unusual collar on the red one came to be.
“I’m not sure how common it was, but it is based on a photograph I found of a man from the time from the Aran Islands,” she told me. (The Aran Islands are, of course, the birthplace of the fisherman sweaters you know and love.) I was intrigued by the collar and we set about creating a similar style,” Mhaoldomhnaigh said. “It was quite tricky getting the proportion right with a knitted collar—we are more used to working with fabric, which is easier to manipulate, but I love the end result!”
Also unusual are the bold sweater colors. Films set in this era tend to veer towards dreary, muted tones. “The red skirt or petticoat was a staple of the women of the west of Ireland so I wanted red to be an important punctuation within the film and a color that would root Siobhán and Pádraic to the community and the land,” Mhaoldomhnaigh told me. “When we made the first jumper for Colin the red was too bright and modern looking and we decided on a darker shade, which I’m really happy with.”